How to Adopt a Pet

Bringing home a new four-legged family member is always exciting. Here’s what you need to know about how to adopt a pet. Getting a dog from a breeder is great when you have your heart set on a certain breed. But there are so many dogs that have been abandoned or abused by their owners that need homes too. There are many places to seek out a loving, adoptable dog. Shelters and rescues both have their own ways of going through the adoption process. Learn more about the differences between the two, and how the process works.

How to Adopt a Pet From a Shelter

A shelter is a public building, oftentimes funded by the city or county. They may be city animal control; or police or fire station shelters; maybe a dog warden, often referred to as “the pound.” Private shelters would refer to themselves as humane society or SPCA. They’re all separate organizations and are rarely connected. These shelters will have their own facilities and run during set operating hours. While they have a staff, they rely heavily on volunteers. So it’s suggested that you go to the shelter rather than relying on their website to find a dog. The adoption process at a shelter typically goes as follows:

  • Meet the dog you have a real connection with in person.
  • Fill out an adoption form and provide a valid ID in order to be considered to adopt the dog.
  • A background check will normally follow, as well as contacting a landlord if necessary.
  • Once you have been accepted as the new dog parent, there may be an adoption fee to pay.
  • Finally, you will receive all the paperwork the shelter offers on the dog and be able to take him/her home!

How to Adopt a Pet From a Rescue

Rescues often house their pets in foster homes, or a smaller private facility. These are normally run by volunteers because all money goes towards the animals. On their website, the rescue will have the steps for their adoption process. Some prefer an email before you apply, so carefully read their instructions. A response from a rescue may take a few days, so be patient. An example of how their adoption process might go is written below:

  • Find a pet on the rescue’s website.
  • Send them an email letting them know you’re interested. They will usually tell you to fill out their application next.
  • After you submit an app, someone from the rescue will call you to further discuss the dog.
  • Once you have met the pet and confirmed your love for him/her, a house visit normally follows. The rescue will set up a home check to ensure your potential pet is going to a safe environment.
  • Your new four-legged family member is brought to your home! Keep in mind, there is oftentimes an adoption fee, ranging anywhere from $100-$400.

Rescues and shelters do differ, but both have the well-being of abandoned animals in mind. Be patient when going through the process of adoption, and make sure a new pet is what is best for your home. Love your new family member endlessly!

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